Anfield South Awaits: Liverpool’s Road to the Final
Get your hat, scarfs and pyro at the ready because Anfield South here we come! It wasn’t the greatest and in truth it didn’t really need to be as a 1-1 draw was enough to send Liverpool to another final Chelsea. The home side didn’t really get into gear until the last twenty minutes and even then there wasn’t the onslaught that may have been expected. We look at the lessons learned from next to the Thames and more importantly, Wembley here we come. Imagine being us.
Rising Stars: Bradley and Quansah’s Impact
It’s impossible not to be delighted at just how good Conor Bradley and Jarrell Quansah have been this season. There was nothing different in this semi-final second leg either and both played key parts in this one. Quansah’s pass for Diaz’s opener was Van Dijk-esque which is the highest compliment you could pay and his third assist in this competition, which for a centre back is amazing. Bradley had a tough assignment against the tricky Willian but more than held his own and won the ball high up on a number of occasions. It’s brilliant to see two academy products who are real first-team options now. Quansah couldn’t contain the smile in that post-match interview.
Luis Diaz: Signs of a Resurgence
He’s not had the best of seasons and there was hope Luis Diaz’s performance against Newcastle might the catalyst for a bit of a turnaround. It hasn’t really happened but he was excellent in this one and man of the match for sky sports. His goal was a bit bizarre and with a double deflection and to be honest Leno should have saved it. However, it was his all-around game that shone as he held it up well, ran the channels and kept possession when we needed him too. A worthy recipient of a massive Klopp hug at the end and another forward making a massive contribution.
Ryan Gravenberch: Stepping Up When Needed
It’s hard to remember the last game where Ryan Gravenberch had a real positive impact for the reds but in this one he was very good. Occupying an unfamiliar left-sided position, the Dutch midfielder ran hard all night and made a number of interceptions (five) and ball recoveries (six). We know the ability he has to get out of tight spaces and drive forward, but it’s his defensive game and physicality where there’ve been questions. He won five out of eight ground duels and this was one you’d file under solid but not spectacular. A bit like the reds in this one. He needed that for a boost and the travelling kop were happy with what we saw.